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Planning for the Future of Small Rural Communities

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Event Date(s)
Event Time
Leland School Media Center

Often small rural communities struggle to find their place in regional economic development efforts.  In addition, community leaders in small towns are often volunteers or have recently taken the role with little experience in community or economic development planning.  Even more experienced leaders are struggling to find ways to make their communities more desirable. Resource Bank has teamed up with Illinois Extension to provide some “next steps” that these leaders can incorporate into their planning efforts, while encouraging new partnerships within and between communities that could make achieving these new goals a reality. 

Join Extension Specialist, Pam Schallhorn on Thursday, July 11, 2024 for Planning for the Future of Small Rural Communities.   The workshop was developed for community leaders and local officials from small rural communities looking for ways to improve the quality of life and economic well-being in their small towns.  During the workshop, participants will be presented with several evidence-based strategies for enhancing entrepreneurial development, harnessing the power of rural tourism, as well as some insights on ways to fund community projects.

In addition, the presenter who has spent over a decade studying and assisting small rural communities across Illinois will supply examples of towns that have successfully developed and implemented their own strategic plans to reverse outmigration, expand business development and enhance quality of life.

The presenter:

Pam Schallhorn is a University of Illinois Extension Specialist with a diverse background in both finance and community/economic development. She has spent the last decade working with rural communities across Illinois and the Midwest.  Her teaching and research interests include creative-sector economic development; downtown revitalization; reversing the exodus of young adults; and cultural awareness. Before coming to Extension, she was a commercial lender and Director of the Small Business Development Center in Rockford, IL.  She holds a master’s degree in political studies and a bachelor’s in finance. 

Cost?     No charge to attend.  Appetizers and refreshments will be served.

Who should attend? Mayors, local officials and community leaders from small rural communities (generally under 5,000 pop) looking for ways to expand quality of life and economic wellbeing in their towns

If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate, please contact